Merry Christmas!

24 Dec 21 8 Comments

It is Christmas eve and it is snowing and I am lounging around in my pyjamas making mulled wine and braising beef for a special meal for tonight.

You mostly know Cliff from his quick fixes to the server, (although he is the one to thank for the design and functionality of this entire website!) but he’s also my partner and companion. He is in hospital this Christmas and I hope you will join me in wishing him a short stay and a speedy recovery at home.

Photograph taken in 1949 of “Anchorage Hangar Facilities” by Hedlund Harvey, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Instead of a Christmas card, I am dampening the cynicism field and bringing you this surprisingly heartwarming collection:

Aviation’s best Christmas adverts from Aerotime Hub.

Not for the first time, Air New Zealand stole the show.

We have one more post this year, which will be the traditional collection of the most popular posts of the year which, I have to say, are almost never quite what I expect.

Until then, best wishes to you and yours and I hope you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season.

Category: Miscellaneous,


  • Christmas Poem Aviation Style

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the  ramp,
    Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
    The aircraft  were fastened to tiedowns with care,
    In hopes that come morning, they  all would be there.

    The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in  their spots,
    With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
    I slumped at  the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
    And settled down comfortably,  resting my butt.

    When the radio lit up with noise and with  chatter,
    I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.
    A  voice clearly heard over static and snow,
    Called for clearance to  land at the airport below.

    He barked his transmission so lively  and quick,
    I’d have sworn that the call sign he used was “St.  Nick”;
    I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
    The better to  welcome this magical flight.

    He called his position, no room for  denial,
    “St. Nicholas One, turnin’ left onto final.”
    And what to  my wondering eyes should appear,
    But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight  Rotax Reindeer !

    With vectors to final, down the glideslope he  came,
    As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:
    “Now Ringo!  Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
    On Comet! On Cupid!” What pills was  he takin’?

    While controllers were sittin’, and scratchin’ their  head,
    They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
    The  message they left was both urgent and dour:
    “When Santa pulls in,  have him please call the tower.”

    He landed like silk, with the  sled runners sparking,
    Then I heard “Left at Charlie,” and “Taxi to  parking.”
    He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh
    And stopped  on the ramp with a “Ho, ho-ho- ho…”

    He stepped out of the  sleigh, but before he could talk,
    I ran out to meet him with my best  set of chocks.
    His red helmet and goggles were covered with  frost
    And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer  exhaust.

    His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly  stale,
    And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn’t inhale.
    His cheeks  were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
    His boots were as black as a  cropduster’s belly.

    He was chubby and plump, in his suit of  bright red,
    And he asked me to “fill it, with hundred low-  lead.
    He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
    I knew he was  anxious for drainin’ the sump.

    I spoke not a word, but went  straight to my work,
    And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a  jerk.
    He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
    Then he  picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

    And I thought as he  silently scribled in his log,
    These reindeer could land in an  eighth-mile fog.
    He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the  rear,
    Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell,  “Clear!”

    And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
    He called up  the tower for clearance and squawk.
    “Take taxiway Charlie, the  southbound direction,
    Turn right three-two-zero at pilot’s  discretion.”

    He sped down the runway, the best of the  best,
    “Your traffic’s a Grumman, inbound from the west.”
    Then I  heard him proclaim, as he climbed through the night,
    “Merry Christmas  to all! I have traffic in  sight.”

    Via Karlene Petitt’s blog, I don’t know the author.

    • The message they left was both urgent and dour:
      “When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower.”

      That was the point where I started laughing out loud.

  • So appreciate Cliff and all he does for everyone. Hoping each day brings you a full and speedy recovery. It’s true — Sylvia needs you!

  • Thanks for a great blog Sylvia, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and that 2022 is a better year for all of us.

  • Cliff and Sylvia, merry Christmas to one of the most intriguing and interesting blogs on the internet. Godspeed for Cliff’s convalescence.

  • Fabulous poem submitted by Mendel. Sylvia I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and strong wishes that Cliff gets better soon!

  • First of all, I am a bit late with my Christmas wishes but I hope that all Sylvia’s readers had a good time. May 2022 see the end of the covid-19 scare and allow the world to return to normal.

    I agree with all those who enjoyed this Christmas edition. The variety that Sylvia offers makes her blog one of the most enjoyable aviation sites. Yes, there are some very good ones but none are as interactive, or not interactive at all. And that is the point: she has built a little community of like-minded aviation buffs in the process.

    And I want to join those who wish Cliff a speedy recovery.


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